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The Faces of Iowa 4-H: Abbie Parker

Name: Abbie Parker

Current Position: Program Specialist (4-H Center)

Hometown: Fort Dodge, Iowa

Education: Degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Outdoor Education from Iowa State University.

Past Work Experiences: Worked at Geneva Point Shire, a camp in New Hampshire for two years. Camp counselor and Intern for the 4-H Center from 2004 to 2007.

Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, kayaking, sports, working with youth!

Ultimate Goal in 4-H: To get every 4-H member to attend the 4-H Camp in the summer!

I went out to the 4-H center and had the chance to visit with the Camp Director, Abbie Parker. We walked around the camp and I got to see a few of the different villages and cabins. I was pleasantly surprised by how large the center was. There was so much land and it was obvious that there are tons of things to do and so many opportunities for kids to participate in during the summer. Abbie highlighted on the fact that there are 25 specialty and combined camps. There are nine weeks of camp that include day camps for ages six to ten and overnight camps for ages seven to 17. Activities include swimming, rock climbing with a zip line, a high ropes course, a team challenge course, canoeing, archery, hiking, creek walks and more!

When talking with Abbie I learned a lot about what she does. She basically creates and runs the programs for all of the camps in the summer as well as hires and manages the staff. When camp is in session she oversees everything and keeps the camp running smoothly creating week by week schedules. Abbie’s favorite part about her job is getting to see the kids and staff grow throughout the summer. She wished someone would have encouraged her to join 4-H growing up because she would have loved the opportunity to explore different projects and different aspects of life in one program.

What does 4-H mean to Abbie? It means a place where kids get to grow and learn skills and qualities that they can use in their futures!


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